CHICAGO - The gang violence is so alarming in one Chicago neighborhood that an alderman now has police protection, and officers themselves are being warned that gang members have bullets that could pierce their body armor.
Neighbors poured into the street Monday night, 24 hours after a block in Brighton Park erupted in gunfire. Ten people were shot, two of them fatally, Sunday night in what police described as a gang-related shooting.
"No one else owns this corner. No one else owns Brighton Park but you," 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez said to the gathered crowd.
Ald. Lopez declined to comment on reports of a credible threat against his life, which has prompted police protection. Officers were seen parked at his ward office Monday night.
"Whether it's me, whether it's the person down the street, whether it's the children going to school every day, they're all threatened. And we stand together in unity to fight back together," Lopez said.
The reported threat against Lopez came after he described the victims of last night's shooting as less than innocent.
"I'm thankful today that no innocent lives were lost," he said Sunday.
That comment drew anger from some who attended Monday's meeting.
In the wake of the shooting, police have flooded the neighborhood. Officers have been warned to be on alert for heavily-armed gang members. Police radio recordings from Sunday's shooting captured the warning that, "This gang is in possession of numerous military-style rifles capable of penetrating officers' body armor."
Officers had already been on alert after two tactical officers were wounded by heavily-armed gang members last week. That shooting was also in Lopez's ward.